LOCALS in a Borders village are fundraising to help bring their village green into community ownership.

Newstead Village Community Trust (NVCT) is campaigning to save the Village Green at the heart of the community.

The Green has two memorial benches and a large cherry blossom tree at the centre. However, in 2020 the land's owner received planning permission to develop a four-bedroom house on the green, despite local opposition.

The Green is currently on the market for offers over £125,000.

The NVCT was given Stage 1 funding from the Scottish Land Fund in support of preparations for a Stage 2 capital application to buy the land, however, if the NVCT are successful they may still need extra funds to fill any gaps.

NVCT chairperson Mark Lovatt said: “Following a village wide consultation, NVCT are in the final stages of producing a Community Action Plan.

"This outlines our community’s ambitions for the future and will help develop a plan to make those aspirations a reality.

"During the consultation Newstead residents showed overwhelming support to buy the Village Green for the benefit of locals and visitors.

"We’re keen to encourage donations to help ensure this central green space can be enjoyed by future generations.

"Details can be found on our website. We are incredibly grateful for the support shown so far.”

Residents of Newstead, believed to be Scotland's oldest continuously inhabited village, have fought to save green spaces in the past.

In 2016 locals fought to stop a bid for 23 houses to be built on what is known locally as the North Field.

Another planning bid was made for the site in 2018 and local campaigners were again successful.

This land is currently on the market with a closing date of today (Tuesday, June 28).

Feedback from community consultations created by the NVCT suggest that those living in Newstead, which is also the home of the Trimontium, are committed to protecting the village's green spaces and are keen to encourage the growth of native species as well as developing spaces for community food growing projects and green energy generation.

A full Newstead Community Action Plan is due to be published soon, with a summary delivered to every house in the village.

For more information, and to donate to the campaign to purchase the Village Green, visit: www.nvct.scot